National Postgraduate Committee

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The National Postgraduate Committee of the United Kingdom (often abbreviated to NPC) was a charitable organisation which represented postgraduates at UK universities.[1][2] In 2009 it voted to dissolve itself and merge with the National Union of Students.[3]

NPC was formed by affiliation from student representative bodies across the United Kingdom and seeks, in the words of its constitution, "to advance, in the public interest, the education of postgraduate students within the United Kingdom" through representation, lobbying, contribution to public policy debate, initiating communication between relevant parties and bringing key issues and potential solutions to wider audiences.

The organisation's motion to dissolve and engage in merger talks with NUS cited several reasons for the organisation's winding up, including "the increased capacity of the NUS with regards to that organisation's ability to meet the needs of postgraduates, and that likelihood that this capacity will increase."[4] Other organisations cited additional reasons which led to NPC's dissolution, including financial and management difficulties.[5]


The NPC was formed in the 1980s as a network of officers. In 1990 it held its first conference at the University of Cambridge. Following this a growth in activity ensued, leading to the adoption of formal structures. It adopted its first constitution in 1992, the same year that it created the full-time post of General Secretary and began its affiliation scheme. The NPC sought charitable status for a number of years and obtained this in 2002, following the passing of a new constitution.

Past General Secretaries:

  • James Irvine from 1 October 1992 until 30 September 1993[6]
  • Crispin Allard from 1 October 1993 until 30 September 1994[7]
  • Jamie Darwen from 1 October 1994 until 30 September 1995[8]
  • Ewan Gillon from 1 October 1995 until 30 September 1996[9]
  • John Gray from 1 October 1996 until 30 September 1997[10]
  • Martin Gough from 1 October 1997 until 30 September 1998[11]
  • Jeremy Hoad from 1 October 1998 until 30 September 2000[12] [13]
  • James Groves from 1 October 2000 until 30 September 2002[14] [15]
  • Tim Brown from 1 October 2002 until 30 September 2004[16] [17]
  • Jim Ewing from 1 October 2004 until 30 September 2005[1]
  • Simon Felton from 1 October 2005 until 30 September 2007[18] [19]
  • Duncan Connors from 1 October 2007 until 30 September 2008[20]
  • Matt Gayle from 1 October 2008 until 11 September 2009[21]


The majority of NPC's work was conducted by the General Secretary who worked full-time; there were 14 other voluntary officers on the executive to assist in the general running of the organisation. Income was derived from affiliation fees by several student representative bodies in the United Kingdom along with a small number of donations.

The Journal of Graduate Education (ISSN 1354-0653) was an academic journal established by the NPC in 1994.[22] It was incorporated with the now-defunct International Journal of Graduate Education in 2008.[23][24]


  1. ^ a b Law, Katie (20 August 2004). "Bigger Is Better, Insists Gung-ho Victor". The Times Higher Education Supplement. p. 11. 
  2. ^ Little, Jenny (11 May 2003). "Take a loan and pay your way to a skill". The Mail on Sunday. p. 41. 
  3. ^ "National Postgraduate Committee AGM agenda" (PDF). AGM agenda. NPC. 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Dissolution motion" (PDF). National Postgraduate Committee Events document. NPC. 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Graduate Union Board Minutes - Cambridge University" (PDF). Graduate Union Board Minutes - June 2011. Graduate Union Board. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "AGM minutes". Jiscmail NPC list. Jiscmail. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Minutes of the meeting of the National Postgraduate Committee". NPC Jiscmail. Jiscmail. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  8. ^ Targett, Simon (3 March 1995). "Children of Major reveal litigious side; Research Opportunities". The Times Higher Education Supplement. 
  9. ^ Thomson, Alan (23 February 1996). "Letter of law crushes hope for letters after name; Research Opportunities". The Times Higher Education Supplement. 
  10. ^ Major, Lee Elliot (5 November 1996). "Higher Education: More Masters for jobs". The Guardian. London. 
  11. ^ Hinde, Julia (27 February 1998). "Lobby points to postgrad plight". The Times Higher Education Supplement. 
  12. ^ Goddard, Alison (11 December 1998). "Postgrads get into class training". The Times Higher Education Supplement. 
  13. ^ Brown, Chris (28 October 1999). "Post Graduate Listings: Charting the right course - A postgraduate degree can improve your career prospects or just expand your horizons". The Independent. London. p. 19. 
  14. ^ Davis, Caroline (27 October 2000). "Upfront Cash Replaces Quotas". The Times Higher Education Supplement. 
  15. ^ Lacey, Hester (22 November 2001). "Postgraduates: A new star in the capital city". The Independent. London. p. 9. 
  16. ^ Crockett, Kate (12 October 2002). "Rise: On course: When student bullies try to ruin your university life: You can stop your tormentors' behaviour and regain control". The Guardian. London. p. 6. 
  17. ^ Brown, Tim (19 March 2004). "What Will The Code Of Practice Really Mean?". The Times Higher Education Supplement. p. 12. 
  18. ^ Wojtas, Olga (19 August 2005). "Hate Law Threat To Academic Freedom". The Times Higher Education Supplement. p. 4. 
  19. ^ "Postdocs cover for teaching shortfall". The Times Higher Education Supplement. 2 November 2006. p. 8. 
  20. ^ Radnofsky, Louise (24 August 2007). "Call to guard standards against fee grab". The Times Higher Education Supplement. p. 4. 
  21. ^ "Official Notice of AGM". Notice of AGM by General Secretary Matt Gayle. NPC Jiscmail list. 17 July 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  22. ^ "Postgraduates strike back". The Times Higher Education Supplement. 16 June 1995. 
  23. ^ "The journal of graduate education". NPC - The journal of graduate education. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  24. ^ "Journal - International Journal of Graduate Education". International Journal of Graduate Education. INTER-DISCIPLINARY.NET. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 

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